Judge Muya demands reasons behind JSC probe

Wednesday May 22 2019

Judge Martin Muya

Judges Martin Muya (left) and Richard Mwongo converse during a judges' conference in Mombasa. Judge Muya is accused of gross misconduct. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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A judge recommended for investigation has written to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) demanding the reasons for the determination.

Justice Martin Muya of the High Court in Bomet said save for the press statement issued by the commission on May 9, he has never been ‘personally’ served with the decision and the reasons that called for an investigation.

In a letter to the JSC through lawyer Philip Nyachoti, Justice Muya said the commission indicated it was in possession of the court files relating to the complaint.

But the files were not taken to him, and his efforts to retrieve them from the Bomet High Court registry had been unsuccessful, he added.

“As such, we have instructions to request that you make available the said files to the said registry to enable us peruse the same and advise him accordingly,” the letter to JSC secretary Anne Amadi read.

COMPLAINT

The lawyer has given the commission 48 hours to respond, failing which he will move to court.

He said his client is entitled to see the commission’s decision without any unreasonable delay as per the law.

The commission had found that complaints against Justice Muya, together with his High Court colleague Lucy Waithaka and Justice D K Njagi Marete of the Employment and Labour Relations, showed gross misconduct and breach of the Constitution.

In 2003, Justice Muya was among 83 magistrates sent home during a radical surgery by Justice Aaron Ringera. He was later cleared and appointed a judge.

MISCONDUCT

The complaint against him was filed by NIC Bank, the defendant in a matter before the High Court in Bomet, and Mr Alfred Kipkorir Mutai and Kipsigis Stores.

The commission said after numerous adjournments, the judge granted an injunction and reserved his reasons for five months.

This was despite pleas by the bank that the vehicles, which were part of security, were being sold, occasioning the lender loss.

The JSC said the petition had disclosed bias, abuse of office, incompetence and gross misconduct in the manner in which the judge handled the matter.